Why Not Houston? Increasingly, attention is hopping from NYC to L.A. — witness the recent multimillion-dollar, citywide “Pacific Standard Time,” which had East Coasters (including the venerated New York Times) scrambling to cover myriad important historical shows. But our time will come — or maybe it’s already here. On view this month are those whose hearts and talents are intrinsically linked to the founding of our art nexus. (It’s no accident that we choose Lawndale Art Center patriarch James Surls, page 22, to represent the quintessential Americana man.) Now we turn to a few other types who made — and continue to make — our scene so very much the real deal. Pittsburgh, Detroit, Cleveland … Houston. First up, Perry House solos at Art Car Museum, continuing the energy from the landmark mid-1980s “Fresh Paint” show at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, when he was one of the abstractionists, following in the tradition established by Dorothy Hood and Charles Schorre but with his own visual language. Consider more than three decades of House in this extraordinary survey (June 2 – August 12).
Speaking of abstraction: David Aylsworth is another excellent artist, one whose loopy signature style and endearingly clumsy way of paint handling are inimitable and instantly recognizable. Inman Gallery celebrates 20 years of exhibiting Aylsworth with a fresh crop of recent canvases (through July 7; book signing of the commemorative catalog on Saturday, June 30) … When we’re talking about “Fresh Paint,” Ibsen Espada must be in the discussion. Espada, the ground-breaking maker of volatile, high-voltage abstractions, gets his due at New Gallery/Thom Andriola in an heirloom exhibit that spans an incredible 40-plus years (through July 6) … Forty is a good number. Just ask H.J. Bott, whose four-decade tribute to his obsessive DoV principle headlines at the place where it began: Galveston. Bott reveals all at the Galveston Arts Center, and it promises to be a wild, optically explosive peep show (June 2 – July 8).
In the mood for a road trip? Head to Victoria for the Nave Museum’s showcase of a force that is synonymous with art cars — and one of the best creators of vehicular sculpture. David Best, that is, including his latest, Prayer Wheels (through July 1) … Meanwhile, if you’re up Cypress way, check out the edgy group view “Luxuriant Refuse,” presented by the Houston Fine Art Fair at the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts; MKG Art’s Melissa Grobmyer does curatorial honors (June 5 – August 5) … Finally, performing art collides with visual components at G Gallery as crooners Zoe Jackson-Jarra and Natalie Foreman take the stage Saturday, June 9 (tickets 713.398.2554). Their exciting backdrop is the G’s current view, “Brass Tacks,” organized by Diane Barber, who pairs rising NYC and San Antonio talents with something to say about domestic architecture (June 2 – 29). We’re happy former DiverseWorks director Barber is back to curating, shaking things up in this Heights destination for provocateurs.
David Aylsworth’s Spider Spinning Daydreams, 2012, at Inman Gallery. Photo by Rick Wells.
Perry House’s Explosion Series (Red), 1995, at the Art Car Museum. Photo courtesy the artist and D. M. Allison Art.